Did you ever wonder why so many brands turn to influencers to help them promote their products? It’s not because it’s the only marketing we have left in this day and age. It’s because it WORKS.
What we need to remember is that influencer marketing is not a new thing. It’s probably the oldest way of marketing – word of mouth. The only thing is that it’s ‘slightly’ changed, and the biggest change comes from brands being able to control at least some part of that word of mouth.
But why are we devoting this article to influencers and retail? It’s because it’s evident that influencers are actually retailers of today. The shift started happening already years ago when instead of going through catalogues, people started looking at social media to find the next thing for themselves, whether in fashion, technology, beauty, fitness, travel or so. But with the social commerce revolution happening and platforms adding shoppable features, the purchases started happening right then and there.
But why does influencer marketing work so well in retail? First of all - people want to talk to people, not businesses and corporations.
‘Experience’ the product through visual storytelling
First and foremost, through social media and influencers, people can ‘touch and feel’ the product, they can see it on another person, hear about the product features and find out the pros and cons before purchase. On the other hand, people start identifying with the influencers they follow (when it’s a loyal relationship), and when the recommendation pops in, it’s almost like an honest recommendation from a friend. That’s what triggers purchase, and that’s how retailers make money (of course, influencers make money too ;)).
Companies who know the game earn 18$ for every 1$ invested in influencers
Brands earn an average of 7,65$ for every 1$ they invest in influencer marketing. That’s a pretty nice return on investment. But before you start your campaigns, keep in mind that according to Influencer Marketing Hub, brands who are experts in influencer marketing (i.e. know their sh**) earn up to $18 for each $1 invested. Therefore it’s crucial to start your campaigns right, use the right tools, check your data and make sure your brief is clear. We’ve already wrote an article on proper campaign set-up and what to pay attention to, but you can also download our free E-book which guides you through steps you need to take towards a successful influencer marketing strategy.
Non-celebrities are who people identify with
Before we came to today’s influencers, there were celebrity endorsements. And they did their part in promoting products and brands, as they still do today. But younger generations are looking to hear opinions of someone they can identify with, those ‘just like them’. Therefore, in today’s social media world, it’s absolutely superficial to just look at the number of followers an influencer has next to their avatar. It’s the engagement that matters. Of course, engagement goes way beyond just one metric, and goes hand in hand with content quality, authenticity, credibility, and charisma. But at the end of the day, it comes down to how much an influencer is able to engage their follower base, and ultimately how does that engagement convert for the brands they work with. And all this data is easily checked for each influencer with tools such as X-Ray Scan.
Easy way of finding things you like
Instead of scrolling endlessly or roaming through stores, whether online or offline, to find the perfect shoes, handbag or something people didn’t even know they needed, they can now just follow influencers whose style they like or whose style matches their own. They can save time searching for things, or even get inspiration on how to style things, how to use a certain face mask or how a certain gadget can make their life easier.
Influencers are known to help drop shipping businesses big time
Influencer marketing is not a big brands’ property. On the contrary, it’s useful for those just starting and can help drop shippers get their products out there. Starting out with your drop shipping store might mean your marketing budgets are not as big as you’d wish. For this reason, it’s important to know that influencer marketing offers various payment options, enabling you to pay only for what you get. Performance-based campaigns allow you to track each influencer’s contribution to sales or website traffic and save money on empty promises and fake followers. Also, Post For Rent platform offers various campaign set-up options, as well as a pay-with-a-product option, which is sometimes crucial for drop shippers’ success.
Conclusion: Influencers ARE today’s retailers
It’s clear that today’s retail power belongs to influencers, and it’s for various reasons. They serve as a source of discovery for the products people need or don’t even know they need, they are able to test and recommend products before they’re even in store, they can direct you to exact places where you can buy them (and sometimes they include discount codes), and they allow you to save time searching for which product to buy, how to use them, how to style them and much more. And with today’s social commerce innovation, the shopping can happen right there where you see it: on Facebook, Instagram etc. Therefore, it’s definitely worth investing your resources in influencers, but it’s crucial you do it right, by checking your data, perfecting your brief, setting clear objectives and measuring results. In case you want to see how our platform can help you with all these steps, BOOK A DEMO and we’ll show you around the platform and take you through concrete campaign set-up examples.